US calls for Israel to protect Gaza civilians

2014-07-18 07:59
A wounded baby receives treatment at al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City. (Mohammed Abed, AFP)

A wounded baby receives treatment at al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City. (Mohammed Abed, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The Obama administration accused Israel on Thursday of failing to do all it can to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza during cross-border attacks.

Noting the deaths a day earlier of four boys who were killed on a Gaza beach by an Israeli strike, the State Department said the high civilian death toll in Gaza has been "heartbreaking." Three more children were killed in Gaza on Thursday.

Still, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki also criticised Hamas militants in Gaza who continue to fire rockets and mortars into Israel, prolonging the latest round of violence in the Mideast that has so far killed 235 Palestinians and at least one Israeli.

"I don't think we've made any secret about our strong concern about the actions of Hamas, the indiscriminate rocket attacks, the targeting of civilians", Psaki said. "And that concern remains."

Of the Gaza beach attacks that killed four cousins on Wednesday, Psaki called the attack "horrifying".

"The tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed". Psaki said. "We will continue to underscore that point to Israel."

Asked whether the US believes Israel has not done enough to prevent civilian casualties, Psaki said: "We believe that certainly there's more that can be done."

50 rockets

Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated US concerns about civilian casualties in a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the State Department said in a statement late on Thursday.

Netanyahu described the "imminent threat" posed to Israel by Hamas tunnels from the Gaza Strip, and Kerry re-affirmed strong US support for Israel's right to defend itself against terrorist threats from such tunnels, the statement said.

"This should be a precise operation to target tunnels", Kerry said of the Israeli ground incursion into the Gaza Strip.

Kerry also emphasised the need to avoid further escalation of the fighting and to restore the 2012 cease-fire as soon as possible, the department's statement said, noting the importance of Hamas accepting this plan "as soon as possible."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged Israel on Thursday "to do far more to stop civilian casualties", calling the killing of four boys on a beach in Gaza City "appalling."

The US has been pushing plans for a cease-fire that Egypt proposed. Kerry also spoke on Thursday to top diplomats in Cairo and the Qatari capital Doha to try to negotiate an end to hostilities that entered their eleventh day.

But fierce fighting between Israel and Hamas resumed almost immediately after a five-hour lull in attacks that the United Nations brokered to let Palestinians stock up on food and supplies after days of staying at home for protection. There were intermittent rocket attacks during the lull as well.

Palestinian militants fired more than 50 rockets at Israel, including a barrage at the Tel Aviv area, according to the Israeli military. Israel responded with airstrikes, including the one that killed three youngsters in Gaza City, said a Gaza health ministry spokesperson.

The conflict intensified on Thursday as thousands of Israeli soldiers backed by tanks invaded the Gaza Strip.

That escalated a military operation that was trying to destroy Hamas' weapons arsenal, rocket-firing abilities and tunnels.

The latest wave of violence was spurred by last month's kidnapping and killings of three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were found in the West Bank, followed almost immediately by what authorities believe was a retribution attack on a Palestinian youth who was strangled, beaten and burned to death .

But tensions between Israel and Palestinian authorities have been simmering for years. They threatened to boil over earlier this spring when Israel shelved nearly nine months of peace negotiations that were being personally shepherded by Kerry after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to create a unity government with Hamas.
- AP
Read more on:    hamas  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  palestine  |  gaza  |  middle east peace  | 
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
99 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Chief: Business Architect

Western Cape
People Partners
R904 240 - R1 507 067 Per Year

Human Resources Officer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Switch Consultants (Pty) Ltd
R25 000 - R28 000 Per Month

Senior PHP Developer

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R30 000 - R35 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.